You are here

What Do Bears And Wolves In Yellowstone National Park Do When No One's Watching?


What do bears and wolves do in the woods of Yellowstone National Park when they don't think anyone is around? As these photos show, they're not going after each other tooth and claw. Photos by Nancy Ward, NPS.

How do grizzly bears and wolves in Yellowstone National Park carry on when they don't think anyone is watching? Well, as these pictures show, they're not going after each other tooth and claw.

Nancy Ward, the park's acting chief of maintenance, was heading to Lake for a meeting back on May 4, before the park's interior roads were open for the public, when she spied a wolf and another animal in a snow-covered drainage.

As she continued on, she thought the other animal might be a bison struggling in the snow. With some time to spare, she turned around and headed back to where she had seen the animals. This is what she discovered:

There was a spot cleared right across the river from these two. Once I stopped I was able to look closely and saw the wolf was "playing" with a grizzly bear. I thought they might be attracted to a carcass, but there was no food around. The bear rolled on its back with its feet in the air. It also slid around the snow. The wolf stayed close, checking things out. The bear approached the wolf and they appeared to sniff around each other and on the ground. I had my camera so I took several pictures. They interacted for more than five minutes and then they both walked up the small drainage and out of sight. I don't know if that's a common type of encounter, but I doubt I will ever see it again!


I guess there is no point them fighting when they are not competeing for a food source, leave their strength for when they need it.

How do they communicate?

Sorry Lisula, truth is stranger than fiction for some.  If you're referring to what I posted directly before your post.  Nature is nature (including us) no matter how we try to believe we're "above it all."

Those that have spent most of their lives in and a part of nature instead of English Lit/Grammar/Environmental Agenda Based Liberal learning institutions would know that the facts/observations posted by Choices are true and correct realities, all be it inconvenient and disconcerting to the new age environmentalism/industry (apparently).

Jon: How eloquently said! Naysayers and the"glibly" negative would do well to restrict their erroneous observations and opine on subjects they are well versed in, namely man, and leave nature alone.

Interesting to watch also how after summer cattle use was eliminated at Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge, the survival rate of new born Antelope crashed to less than 1%.  I frequently watched coyotes teaming up to draw the doe away while it's partner moved in and killed the new born.  The mother cows did quite well at defending their own and Antelope newborns running off predators.  The Antelope also preferred the shorter new green growth after the tall rank grasses were grazed.  The coyotes were quite thrilled and multiplied (go forth:).

Mr. Negative also forget to mention that Bears also follow wolves for feeding reasons.  It is not uncommon to see a grizz hanging back while the wovles do the hunting and killing only to move in and steal the wolves food.  We saw this several times in 08 by slough creek.  Once on the slope to the right (as your facing) of the den and then again to the lower left.  I miss Yellowstone!!!

Matt for president.

Add comment


This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide

Recent Forum Comments